Returning To The Dark Halls Of My Memories

On January 1st I decided it was time to go get back into writing and it’s been the best decision I ever made. I’m always happiest when I’m writing so it feels amazing to be back to it! But it wasn’t all a walk in the park. January pretty much passed by in a blur of persistent Writer’s Block and my countless attempts to break through it. I had such a hard time because it’s been roughly four years since I’ve written anything, but I kept at it until I came out the other side and finally got my mojo back! It was a serious battle I’m ecstatic to have won!

Even though I’ve not written much my mind is always spinning tales so the next obstacles I was facing was what to work on. I had half dozen projects I was working on before my writing life was interrupted and now I had about three novels spinning in my head. It was all overwhelming until I got it all written out an organized so I could choose a direction I wanted to go in and. I have so many projects I want to complete but I feel like I don’t want to start anything new until I’ve finished what I started so I began to dig into the writing material I walked away from four years ago.

The first thing I’ve chosen to work on is transferring my online photography stories into a journal and I’ve spent the past month searching through a mountain of pictures and building a folder to be sent off for printing. As of yesterday I put the last picture in and I’m excited to say it’s ready to he sent off! Once that’s done I can concentrate on the writing part and putting it all together. I’m old school, I like my writing available online but I also want it handwritten in my own collection of hardback journals to add to my personal library. This photo project has sat in my closet half done for years so it’s very exciting to see it finally coming together!

And it feels pretty awesome to know I am working on completing a vision I’ve had in mind for a long time. I can’t believe it’s almost done after so long! This is huge for me because I can’t move past all the undone stuff and abandon it all for my new ideas. In fact, that’s exactly why I was blocked. Initially it was because I hadn’t written for so long, but the underlying reason went deeper to the fact that I just don’t feel creative in new things with so many loose ends hanging around. I’m on a mission to tie them up before I move on and I’m having so much fun!

Breaking Through Writer’s Block

Since I’ve not done any serious writing in the last four years, I made it my New Year’s Resolution to get back into it with a commitment to sit down to write every day in January. I went into this knowing it would be a challenge but I didn’t know just how big. Here we are at the end of the month and how is my writing going? I’ve not written anything that I haven’t thrown away or tossed into the Draft folder but I’m giving this experiment five stars. Sounds a bit weird, but there’s more to it than just parking your butt in a chair and coming up with some words. This commitment challenged me to face my writing every day with the all important question: Why am I blocked, and how do I fix it?

This question really makes you think, especially if it’s on your mind for a month straight! For the first two weeks I forced myself to sit with my writing for at least an hour every day. This resulted in at least ten posts banished to the Draft Pile, and that was if it was a good writing session. Most days I sat there the entire time with not a single word or idea flowing. it got to a point where I walked away from my computer, but not the commitment. I decided to go try all the writers’ remedies I could find for writer’s block, napping, exercise, baking. I started a book my daughter got me for Christmas and with the beautiful days in the 60s here at the treehouse I spent time out among the trees relaxing. In my experience, I can’t say it was any one thing in particular that worked for me, I believe it all worked together and helped me slow down and calm my mind so I could even get back into the thought of writing.

Once I did that and I was excited once again to get back to writing, I stood back and looked at all the choices I had to work with and realized the only things I have that are complete are the copies of the magazine I used to write for and several books I wrote for the kids when they were small. All other WIPs are incomplete, tucked away in different stages, some more done than others but all of them on hold. In seeing this I found the answer to my block! Off the top of my head I can name at least six projects and I know there are at least that many more. I’m blocked when it comes to writing my novel because I have so many projects that need to be done first. I don’t want to take anything else on when there’s so many things I’ve already started. So cool, I’ll just get started then!

I was excited for all of two days before the block was back. That didn’t last long! But I wasn’t too upset because I saw the cause for this block and saw that it’s an easy fix. Another reason I can’t get any writing done is because I never fully got to unpack my writing boxes when we moved into the house so these unfinished projects are scattered throughout the bedrooms instead of nicely organized in one place. I was tired of searching for things and was quickly frustrated with my writing situation so I spent last weekend making a huge dent in my unpacked mess, happy knowing that when it was done I could finally get back to writing! But as I pieced back together notebooks and folders in piles for each project, I was surprised to feel the block trying to return as I looked at them all! I had no desire to work on any of these projects but instead of walking away I asked myself why. After all, these projects are some of my favorite ones.

Being honest with myself, I don’t want to finish any of these projects because picking any one of them to work on would be bittersweet. Life has changed so much that these projects seem like a lifetime ago. Yes, they were some of the best times of my life, but it’s hard to spend time with memories when they came to an abrupt end. I wasn’t done following these paths, but life had other plans. No matter how much I will enjoy these projects when they are done, it’s going to be a little sad to revisit so many awesome memories. But again, this is a block I can quickly work through because of one simple truth. When I stand back and look at everything in its half-finished state I think about what it will be like for those who have the task of going through my office after I’m gone.

A bit dark, I know. But as a horror writer I can’t help but think about it. For me, just the act of writing is important. It’s not about fame and fortune, just creating. Though I am writing a novel that I will self publish some day, most of my work is photography based and most always handwritten. I like the internet but I don’t like the idea of all my writing just existing there. For me, I want something I can hold in my hands with pages I can turn written in my handwriting. These projects are a piece of me and will someday be all that my family has left of me. With that thought in mind, I don’t want them to go through my room only to discover an unlimited amount of half-done projects. These are stories both made up and real and I don’t want them to die in my head. I want those I love to have something they can cherish and keep with them always. It’s this thought that has finally broken my block.

Yes, I have an awesomely gruesome novel in mind that I will get back to work on later, but first I need to finish what is waiting for me so I can move on with a clean slate and a clear mind. I’m not very creative when my mind is fogged up with everything I haven’t finished yet so I’ve picked my first project and I’m taking it into February with a goal to make some serious headway on it!

I’m Not Successful

The subject of writing came up this morning as a writer gave their opinion on something and I didn’t agree. The person I was with shrugged their shoulders and said, “Well, he’s a successful writer he does it for a living.” I know this wasn’t meant to be a negative dig at me but I couldn’t help but take it that way. I usually don’t let the opinions of others bother me or effect my vibe, but I just couldn’t help it. I have worked my ass off as a writer and, though I may not be Stephen King, I am happy with what I have done so far in the pursuit of my dreams. I walked away from the conversation second-guessing my talent and, because I’ve been dealing with a severe block, I wondered if I should even bother with it anymore.

I have been struggling to get started again, writing is a very deep part of me and I haven’t been the same since I had to walk away from it four years ago. Before that happened things were going exceptionally well; I was working for an underground magazine which published my writing in over 25 countries, I was meeting photographers and other artists from all over the world and I was travelling the east coast in the search of adventure and the next awesome thing to discover and write about. Life was awesome! So awesome that I reached a point where I stepped down from my writing postition at the magazine to write my first novel and for the next three years I worked my ass off to produce the story spinning around in my head.

I was so excited to finally be getting to end of my final rewrite before I was ready to publish it…..and that’s when life happened. First, my computer glitched and shut down sending my manuscript into a millionaire n hashtags that no professional could recover (I spent the next two years trying). I was devastated! And not just because I had lost all my work but because my husband had just announced he wanted a divorce and we were losing the house just one week before this. Once I lost my book I knew there would be no way I would ever have the opportunity to rewrite it now that I was facing life as a single mom with three kids.

That was four years ago next month and, though I returned to my writing several times over the past few years, I just haven’t been able to put the time needed into it. And now that I have remarried and I’m home again with the baby I have all the time in the world to he creative but it’s just not there. No matter what I try to get unblocked it just doesn’t work. Go for a walk, sleep, read, be creative in other ways, sit down and force myself to write….you name it I’ve tried it! So the comment this morning, not meant to be ignorant in any way, has put me in a weird mood. I’m a successful writer, right? I don’t have a book deal and I’m not making millions, but I can spin a pretty badass tale when I’m not blocked!

I refuse to let this comment shut me down, I want to use it as fuel to get back into writing but I need a little help. What do you do to get past a block? What do you do when people toss an inconsiderate comment your way? How do you get moving after everything you worked so hard for was lost and it’s been years of not writing?

What’s Your Word For 2019?

I think assigning a word to the new year is a great idea because it will go with you every day, making you smile on the good days and remind you of where you’re going on the bad days. I’ve been contemplating which word best suits me and my life at this time and I’ve settled on: Let Go.

This is a monumental phrase for me because so much has happened to me, not just in the past year but probably the past 20, that I have held onto even when I thought I had let go in some cases. I find that everything that I’m holding on to isn’t healthy for me or productive for the life I want to live so it’s time to take the advice of these two little words. What is it that I need to let go of? There are a number of things and none of them are little. I just remarried after I said I would never do it again after last time. Last time I was married for 17 years but my husband was gone traveling for work the last eleven years so, as you can imagine, it wasn’t such a great marriage. I took a leap of faith choosing to remarry but it’s never going to be easy if I don’t let go of what happened to me.

Not only was I alone for eleven years (seriously he was only home 4 days a month!) but he left me to deal with his ex and her children. This woman hated me and got her kids involved in hating me too. We went through 13 yrs of court dates and fighting and defending ourselves. It was so bad that getting divorced was actually a relief! I left the ordeal with abandonment issues, mistrusting men to be and act like a true man and I re entered the dating world refusing to have anything to do with anyone who had kids. I never wanted anything to do kids again as I have six and all but two are grown and gone. Well, life had other plans!

I met a great guy and after a few years we chose to get married and bring a baby into the situation as well. I am extremely happy and in love or I would never have made these decisions, but I am making myself miserable because I won’t let go of what happened to me. Just because I was abandoned and left to deal with six children all alone doesn’t mean I’m going to have a repeat in this new marriage. As a matter of fact, it’s the farthest thing that can happen because my husband goes above and beyond what makes a great husband! He’s always looking out for me and encouraging me to pursue my art and setting me up with everything I need to do so. It’s time for me to let go of my past because living in wait for the other shoe to drop and life to errupt into chaos is not the way to live.

Nothing can heal or grow in an environment like that and that’s not where I want to be. I want to enjoy every second of the blessings that God brought into my life. There are amazing things waiting for me but I will remain cut off from them unless I make a conscious effort to fix myself. Life is cruel and experiences stay with us….if we let them! So this year I chose to let go of fear, mistrust, anger, feeling abandoned and all the walls I have built in order to protect myself. Not only do I deserve the best version of my life but my husband and family deserve the best version of me as well.

What’s your word for the year?

The Struggle Is Real!

As I put the baby down for a nap I began talking myself into skipping today’s writing session. It hasn’t been going well so who cares if I miss a day, right? No, it’s actually the farthest thing from the truth. Right now, while I’m struggling to get started again, is not the time to take breaks. Whether I come away with any words today or not, that’s not what matters. What matters is that we show up, especially on the days we feel like quitting!

So inspirational, right?! Well that’s where today’s writing session both began and ended. It’s been one of those afternoons where the phone is constantly ringing and they weren’t calls I could put off. I know, I’m supposed to ignore all calls while working but one was husband, the next one was my cousin who lives out of state who I’ve been trying to get in touch with since Christmas and the last was my daughter calling me all the way from Ohio to tell me that she’s getting engaged!!! My baby girl is getting married! I wish we lived close so I could help her plan the wedding, it breaks my heart to be so far away from her. Two hours on the phone with everyone left me only enough time to take a shower and then scribble something in my journal real quick before I have to get the baby up and changed so we can go get the other kids from school and go to the store.

Though I may not have gotten anything accomplished today, it’s not the end of the world…It’s just another day in the life of a writer, interrupted. Happy Monday everyone😊

A Rocky Start

We’re two weeks into the New Year and I have been up for the challenge of re-forming my writing schedule. Since it’s been almost four years since I had to put it on the back burner I knew it was going to be a challenge but I wasn’t expecting this much of a Rocky start. I hate everything I write so it either gets filed under my drafts or just completely deleted and the one journal entry I did manage to finish this week was lost to a computer glitch. Awesome, right?! Things couldn’t possibly get any worse! Just wait….it gets better!

I have a break from the kids this weekend and I had all these plans to retreat to my room with all my writing stuff and really spend some time with it like I haven’t been able to do in years. It was going to be perfect, except for the fact that I am probably in the running for the world’s biggest Klux so I’ve been laying in bed since Friday nursing a mild concussion. I’m beginning to feel better but I haven’t so much as looked out my windows all weekend. All I wanted to do was write but with the kids coming back soon there’s just no way, I need all the rest I can get before Mommy Duty starts again.

Even though my return to writing isn’t going so smoothly, I’m a cup half full kinda girl so I know it will all fall back into place if I just keep trying. And as an added bonus, these obstacles are just showing how important writing is to me. No matter what happens along the way as I reclaim my writing life, I know two things: First, nothing worth having ever comes easy and second….I honestly can’t remember. Stupid concussion! I’m going back to bed to rest up for what will, hopefully, be a good writing week. Happy Sunday😊

The Aftermath Of Christmas

The name of my blog is writer, Interrupted and it truly is an accurate description about my writing life. Each day I wake up with an optimist attitude that today will be the day I get to sit down and do some serious writing. Then reality sets in as the next episode of writer, Interrupted begins to unfold.

What’s on my agenda today? The kids just started back to school yesterday from their Christmas break so, needless to say, my house looks like a bomb went off. It will take a whole day of solid cleaning to get it back into shape. And that’s just picking up, reorganizing, catching up on laundry and grocery shopping. And that’s before I even pick up a broom or mop! That’s going to have to be another day because this one is already packed. Along with cleaning I will be chasing a baby so my chore list will take twice as long and include redoing anything he undoes as he “helps” me.

As if that’s not enough I will be baking six dozen cookies today! I know it’s not Christmas time anymore but I don’t just drag out my baking goods the last two months of the year. Being able to stay home with the baby is a wonderful blessing but it’s not all fun and games. With only one income we both work together as a team to keep costs low and I do my part by cooking from scratch to save us money. I may spend most of the day in the kitchen, but when I’m done my freezer is stocked and I’m free from baking for about three months (which honestly makes me a bit sad because I love baking). Less time in the kitchen means more time for writing!

Though I may not be able to sit down with a hot cup of coffee and tap into my imagination to spin some amazing tale, I am learning to take a break from all of my Mommy Duties to squeeze in some writing as often as I can and that’s a huge accomplishment for me right now because before this it’s been since October that I’ve written anything. I actually wanted to write longer today but I hear the baby moving around and since he came to sleep with us during the night he is not confined to the crib. Another day of writing, interrupted but I love it just the same.